Join Special Interest Tours, astronomer Bob Berman and SeaTrek Sailing Adventures on a nautical expedition like never before, as we sail out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse in the remote southern reaches of Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Travel aboard a small armada of traditional, wooden, pinisi liveaboard boats, handcrafted on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi by local craftsmen using ancient techniques handed down from father to son over many centuries.
In addition to chasing one of the most profound of all nature’s celestial wonders, you will see and
experience some of the very best culture, nature and landscapes that Indonesia has to offer, including snorkeling some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. This truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
A Very Unusual Eclipse
The totality of April 20, 2023 occurs when the Moon is closer to the far side than its near side (perigee) of its orbit, and when the Sun itself is about as distant from Earth as it ever gets. As a result, accurate instrumentation would show that the Moon and Sun are both smaller-looking than average, with both possessing very nearly the same angular size. The bizarre consequence is that if you can go to a place on Earth that is closer to the Moon – meaning, a spot where the Moon is highest-up in the sky so that your location is directly beneath it – it will then appear just large enough to completely block out the Sun and deliver all the legendary phenomena of a full total solar eclipse.
So that old realtor maxim of “Location, location, location!” is truer during this eclipse than during any other of our lives to date. This time around, the Moon’s umbral shadow is just 34 miles (49 km) wide at its maximum! Well, we’ve previously been through such headache-producing planning agonies, and are happy to say we’ve happily found a perfect place to view this historic event -- a small, lovely, sandy-beach, undeveloped island that sits right on the centerline of this challenging eclipse.
We will take you to a place where the length of totality, one minute, 16 seconds, will not be exceeded anywhere else on Earth by even as much as a single second!
From our location within sight of a somewhat larger island, we will have privacy, quiet, and a Sun that will hover just 24 degrees from directly overhead. This matters because tropical locations such as this can easily suffer passing clouds, (with this region experiencing an average of 2/3 cloud cover at this time of year), so that the most effective way of avoiding them is by observing an object very high in the sky, where the sideways components of cumulous clouds are essentially eliminated.
For those who wish to possess all the geeky specifications of this event and our location, we will be at latitude -7°, 35 m, 25s and east longitude 127°, 34’, 7” at sea-level, and with the time of maximum totality at 04:24 UT. The path width at our location is 49.2 km, the Sun/Moon altitude will be 66.3° alt, with their azimuth lying within one degree of 323.7°, meaning the Sun will be very high in the northwest. Our distance from the exact center line will be only 18 minutes of arc in declination and 4 minutes of arc in longitude. You could walk to the precise centerline in less than 20 minutes!
Finally, the ratio of the Sun’s diameter to the Moon’s will be a mere 1.0131 at our location. This near-identical size aspect will likely produce viewings of the famed “Bailey’s Beads,” effect, among the fascinating aspects we’ll certainly talk about during the lectures scheduled for the days before the main event.
We look forward to see you there with us!
Join Special Interest Tours, astronomer Bob Berman and SeaTrek Sailing Adventures on a nautical expedition like never before, as we sail out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse in the remote southern reaches of Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Travel aboard a small armada of traditional, wooden, pinisi liveaboard boats, handcrafted on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi by local craftsmen using ancient
techniques handed down from father to son over many centuries.